About

It's time once again to close down the blog for the season.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a Happy New Year.



This blog started as a tribute the way we celebrated Christmas here in the states for so many years.  Each of us gathered with our families to watch these Specials, Cartoons and Movies.  And we did it together as a country at the same time.  We don't celebrate Christmas together as a nation anymore.  And there are so many attacks these days against the very mention of Christmas.

I received a comment on Christmas eve thanking me for this blog and that it lifted their spirits as they had been down and didn't really feel in the Christmas Spirit.  That's the purpose of this blog, to bring a smile to your face as you take a walk down memory lane and relive some Christmas memories from the past. We lost a great one this year.  Andy Williams was a very beloved and treasured singer and Christmas won't be the same without him.  But we always have his recordings and will remember him as he takes his place with the great ones like Bing, Nat, Frank and Dean.

May you all have the joy and blessings of Christmas all year through.  Until next time....


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In 1977, Bing filmed what would be his last Christmas television special.  Titled "Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas", it featured Bing and the family taking a trip to Merrie Olde England to visit a very distant relative, Sir Percival Crosby (played by Ron Moody).  The guests featured Mr. Ron Moody who was a famous British stage and screen actor who's most memorable role for American audiences was as Fagan in Oliver!  Also in the cast were model/actress Twiggy, British comedian Stanley Baxter and pop star, David Bowie.

Bowie performed his current hit at the time, "Heroes" as well as singing his now famous duet of "The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth" with Bing.

The special was filmed in October on location.  Bing had several appearances in London which would prove to sadly be his last.  Bing died on a golf course in Spain on October 14, 1977.

Here is the last time Bing sang White Christmas on television.

Here at the old blog, we wish all of you a very, Merry Christmas.


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Hello everyone,

I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas.  There hasn't been anything posted this month.  Partly because I have posted so much over the past few years and the other is the busyness that is the holiday.

I will post something on Christmas Eve that should be like a hot cup of Wassail on a cold Winter's night.  Until then, peruse the blog as it is filled with memories.

Wassailing, England 16th Century

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This is a revised version of an earlier entry.  Uploaded is the full version of this selection.

In 1976, Rankin/Bass made a sequel to The Little Drummer Boy. They subtitled it "Book II" in a biblical style reference.

The story follows Aaron right after the birth of Christ as he helps one of the wise men, Melchior, recover silver bells that were cast to ring at the birth of the Messiah. The bells were stolen by greedy Roman soldiers.

This is a very good sequel and it features a version of the 1963 Bing Crosby Christmas song, "Do You Hear What I Hear?".

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Made in 1971 by accalimed animator Chuck Jones, A Christmas Carol was originally created as a television special but was later released theatrically to critical acclaim winning an Oscar for best animated short in 1972.

Featuring non other than Sir Alastair Simm as Ebeneezer Scrooge, this half hour presentation of Charles Dickens' classic is very well done.

Here is the feature in it's entirety.




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I've been looking for this commercial for a while now.  Sprite made a series of Christmas ads from the late 70's featuring a jingle made to the tune of Good King Wenceslas.

Here is one from 1980


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Here's another variation of the Coca Cola Christmas commercial from 1978

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In 1938, MGM adapted the Captain and the Kids comic strip (orginally The Katzenjammer Kids) into a cartoon series.

A total of 15 cartoon shorts were made including this one.


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Jack Jones
Now, around here, we love Jack Jones.  A much forgotten singer, Jack is most famous for singing the theme to The Love Boat. But Jack is as good a jazz singer as Sinatra, Deano and the rest of the gang.

Here is Jack on Judy Garland's Christmas Show from 1963.  You will also notice our pal Mel Torme' among the guests.


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Running from 1965 to 1974, The Dean Martin Show appeared on the NBC network featuring Dean and a plethora of guest stars.

Here's Deano and the Chairman of the Board singing their rendition of "It's a Marshmallow World"

Enjoy!


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Now, I love Donnie and Marie.  Call it a guilty pleasure.  I watched every Friday night on ABC as a kid.  I also loved their Christmas specials.

Here is an excerpt from the 1976 special

 
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The Problem

You cruise sites like this one and you relive memories from the past and you always end up asking yourself "why don't they show that anymore?".

You can wax poetic about people today and network executives not getting it and all of that but I think the real problem is that it's become a parody of itself.  People watch these shows today on DVD or Blu Ray because they think it's cool to be nostalgic rather than saying "It's because it's Christmas and that's what we do". 

How many young hipsters do you know who own the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas because they think it's hip to listen to a little Vince Guaraldi?  They live in an age where it's hip to listen to "old stuff", but the idea that "hey, it's Christmas!" never enters the mind.  It's as if our consciousness about Christmas has changed.  The holiday or it's meaning haven't changed and each culture celebrates it in its own way.  But only 30 years ago, these specials were front and center as part of our Christmases and never a thought came to mind that people just didn't care for it anymore.

I think these decisions were made in a back room at a network somewhere by a young exec who wished he or she worked at MTV.

Until people give the old specials a fresh look and realize that it's just as much a part of our Christmas as putting up the tree or drinking egg nog, we will always be searching for a Christmas we used to know.


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The Hollywood Palace was an hour long variety show on ABC TV.  There were many guests hosts (much like SNL) but Bing Crosby made the most appearances - 31 in all including starring on the Christmas specials.  The show ran from 1964 thru 1970, with Bing hosting the final show.

Here's Bing singing his perennial hit on The Hollywood Palace Christmas show from 1968.


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American Singer Andy Williams, best known for singing hits like "Moon River" and the host of his own popular variety show in the 1960's and 70's has died from cancer.  He was 84.


With 17 gold and three platinum records to his name, Williams enjoyed his golden years playing golf and dividing his time between La Quinta, Calif., and Branson, where he appeared at his Andy Williams Moon River Theater since 1992. (from People)

You may recall Andy announced last year that he had been diagnosed with Bladder cancer.  2012 marked Andy's 75th year in show business.

We here remember Andy's golden toned melodies as he sang some of our favorite Christmas carols and standards.  Andy is noted for discovering the Osmonds who appeared on his show as regulars.

There is no true way to express in words what his loss means to the world.  So, we will remember Andy in song.


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Here is Perry Como's Christmas show presented by Chesterfield Cigarettes on Wednesday, Dec 24th 1952.  I hope you enjoy this show


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Country music legend Kitty Wells died peacefully at her home from complications of a stroke at the age of 92.

Ellen Muriel Deason (August 30, 1919 – July 16, 2012), known professionally as Kitty Wells, was an American country music singer. Her 1952 hit recording, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels", made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, and turned her into the first female country star. Her Top 10 hits continued until the mid-1960s, inspiring a long list of female country singers who came to prominence in the 1960s.
Wells ranks as the sixth most successful female vocalist in the history of Billboard's country charts, according to historian Joel Whitburn's book The Top 40 Country Hits, behind Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Tammy Wynette, and Tanya Tucker. In 1976, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1991, she became the third country music artist, after Roy Acuff and Hank Williams, and the eighth woman to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Wells' accomplishments earned her the nickname Queen of Country Music.

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Here is another great spot featuring something special.

From the 1960's to thru the 1970's, many Christmas LPs were made featuring various artists performing our favorite Christmas carols. 

Here is a spot for a collection title "Home For Christmas"

This spot is for you Susan!


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I love promos from Christmastime.  Like commercials, these bring back memories more than anything because they have a familiarity from long ago.  It's like a window to the past.

Here is a promo from NBC featuring Dino himself.


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In the last few years of his life, Bob Hope made a series of Christmas retrospectives featuring Bob and all of the celebrity guests he spent Christmas with over the years.

Here is Bob and his wife Delores singing the holiday classic that he made famous, Silver Bells.


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